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Degree Overview: Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) Degree in Computer-Aided Drafting

Majors Overview February 13, 2014

The first step toward a career in drafting is usually an Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) in Computer-Aided Drafting (CAD). Those interested in designing systems inside buildings or the buildings themselves may want to look into a program for this field.

A.A.S. Programs in Computer-Aided Drafting

Students enrolled in a two-year Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Computer-Aided Drafting (CAD) degree program can expect to gain the skills needed to pursue drafting work in the design field. Coursework in these programs is devised to impart instruction in the property of metals and drawing. Classroom lectures revolve around the use of CAD programs and modeling in the design of solid objects; they can also expect to become adept in using design tools employed in machining and drafting. Admission criteria typically require applicants to hold a GED certificate or high school diploma.


Students who wish to obtain CAD degrees can take courses devised to prepare them for producing drafting, engineering and architectural materials they can use in design and structural engineering. Coursework may include:

•Commercial construction
•Drafting standards
•Mechanical design
•Architectural design
•Residential construction
•Civil drafting
•Electrical and mechanical systems
•Building design

Career Choices

Graduates of the program have various specialties in the drafting field to choose from as career options. Graduates of an AAS in CAD can pursue entry-level jobs in various positions including:

•Mechanical drafter
•Pipeline drafter
•Civil drafter
•Electrical drafter

Certification and Continuing Education Choices

Graduates can advance their careers by studying beyond the associate’s degree by earning a bachelor’s degree in engineering technology or engineering manufacturing. Students enrolled in these four-year programs can opt for a choice of majors such as industrial, mechanical and electrical engineering technology. Programs may also require them to participate in cooperative education experiences that involve working in design firms.

Graduates can pursue professional certification in the field of their choice from organizations such as the American Design Drafting Association (ADDA), which offers a drafting certification for graduates who pass an exam that lasts 90 minutes and complete an application. Certification remains valid for 60 months. Three years experience is a must for both members, but a fee for re-certification is additionally required from non-members.

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